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Pregnancy & Parenting

MYDAWA: Pregnancy and Baby Flash Chat Part 2

Two weeks ago we had a WhatsApp flash chat sponsored by MYDAWA in which we invited our in house expert Esther Kimani to tackle all questions that mothers in our WhatsApp groups have. The flash chat is a sequel to a WhatsApp chat we had in December. This article contains all the questions asked on pregnancy and babies. It is very insightful and will answer some of your concerns on pregnancy, breastfeeding, weaning, and family planning.

Esther Kimani is a certified nutrition advisor, lactation specialist, doula, and a certified infant and young child nutrition counselor. She supports and walks with parents so that they can enjoy the parenting journey during pregnancy, birth and beyond.

MYDAWA  is an online pharmacy where you can get a range of products from personal care, medical devices, supplements and medication.

Sleep Regression in Babies and How to Manage It

Sleep regression will usually happen when the baby is transitioning from one developmental stage to another. You cannot actually avoid it as your baby is growing but you can help your baby transition better by mostly sticking to your normal routine as often as possible. Avoid overstimulating the baby. It is okay to provide extra comfort during this time however, avoid introducing any major sleep changes at this time. Your baby will soon be back to her normal routine if you stick it out.

How Can We As Mums Avoid Gas in Babies

Ensure your baby latches well on the breast and if using a bottle, tip the bottle up slightly so that there are no air bubbles in the teat.Burp your baby during and after he nurses. In addition, massage your baby’s tummy and do bicycle exercises.

A warm bath also aids in easing the discomfort Keep a food diary. Notice if some particular foods may be making baby a bit gassy and eliminate them from your diet for a while.You can ask your doctor for some gas relief drops.

What Makes a Baby Prefer One Breast?

From the start, your baby may feel more comfortable being held on one side or they find it easier to latch to. Try and offer the other breast when baby is more relaxed and not too hungry as they are not impatient at this point.

Inverted Nipples

Firstly ensure that you express a little to ensure the areola is soft, this will allow your baby to get a deep latch. You can also use a breast pump to pull out the nipple. Alternatively, use reverse pressure softening: shortly before nursing, draw out your nipple by placing your fingers around the base of your nipple and push inward toward your chest wall, with steady pressure, for about one minute. Release and repeat, if necessary.

Teething

Gently rub the gums with your finger. You can also offer something to chew on, like a teething toy. Make sure it is big enough that it can’t be swallowed or choked on. Put a wet washcloth in the freezer until cold (not frozen solid!) and allow your child to chew on it. Speak to your pediatrician about using a dose of a mild pain reliever to ease the discomfort.

What’s your advice on plastic teeth?
You may see them immediately after birth. You don’t really need to do much as they resolve on their own but if the tooth looks very loose your doctor will advise accordingly.

Is Teething Associated with Diarrhoea?

Usually its because babies tend to keep putting everything in the mouth, leading to them eating dirt which can trigger diarrhoea. Try washing your baby’s hand often.

Clogged Noses

This is quite common. You can ask your doctor to prescribe saline drops to clear the nose. Ensurethat your home is dust free.

How do you get that good latch especially at night? In the dark

Use a dim light initially after a while it will get easier.

Fever after Vaccination

If the fever is mild. You can  keep your baby lightly dressed and wipe them down with WARM water. Feed your baby often to keep them hydrated. If the fever seems high you may give a fever reliever after 4 hours. See your doctor if the fever persist beyond 48 hours.

Breastfeeding And  Weaning

In this pregnancy and baby chat, weaning and breastfeeding information was highly sought for.These are the breastfeeding questions asked by our villagers.

BreastFeeding

I suckle my baby while  lying down. Is it true that this breastfeeding position can cause ear infections?

With most nursing positions, the baby is almost  always lying down.  Whether mum is lying down or not. As long as you practice safe sleep practices, nourish your child the best way you know how.

Research shows that although the auditory tube presents a more horizontal position. The physiology of feeding through breastfeeding differs greatly from the suction  that occurs when bottle feeding.

During breastfeeding, there is lowering of the breast palate  and at the same time it raises it;s vertical part which allows the part of the  throat known as the orophanyx to close. In this way there is no possibility of milk to be entering the ear tube, even with the baby lying down.

The baby should never be given a bottle lying down as the swallowing mechanism is different from that of breastfeeding.

My Baby is a Week Old  and I am really struggling to keep him awake during feeding time. Is this okay?

Try and feed baby when he lightly dressed. Keep stroking and talking to him. If he sleeps at the breast, remove him, wake him up and then reattach him to the breast again

Does Breastfeeding Help Reduce Weight? I find myself feeding More because of the Hunger Pangs.

Usually, the hunger pangs are really caused by dehydration. You need to really drink for two. If you drink enough you find that you don’t feel as hungry. Try also eating small meals through out the day.

My 5 months old daughter doesn’t sleep during the day and if she does it’s only for about 5 minutes. What am I not doing?

You may need to form a routine for the baby sleeping at a specific time. Try and take the baby at a quiet place to reduce stimulation at this specific time. After a while the baby will adjust to the routine.

I’m 31 weeks and have been expressing colostrum since I was three months pregnant. Is that normal?

Very normal. It’s a really good thing as your baby will have milk immediately.

Does the food we eat affect the quality of milk?

Yes. Especially in ensuring that your baby get’s all the micro nutrients that they need like calcium, zinc etc. Ensure you eat a balance diet every day.

My two year old son had a flu at night. When I turned  towards him, his whole body was shaking, eyes wide open and  for some minutes he was unresponsive. At the hospital, they said it was a fever. Can it happen again?

You can buy a thermometer to monitor him whenever he is unwell. Usually if baby has a temperature of 37.5 celcius and above, it means he has a fever. Your doctor can advice at this point but also keep the baby lightly dressed.

My babies are going to have a difference of 1.9 years. I had a Caeserean section for the first one and I’m due mid April. Is there a chance of normal delivery?

Usually it’s recommended that a difference of 24 months is best, but a doctor can advise about a  normal delivery especially if your baby is small.

How can I control Vomiting even after the baby burps?

Try and put baby upright for at least 20 minutes after a feed to allow the milk to settle better. In addition, it’s advisable to elevate the baby slightly in their bed.

My baby has refused to breastfeed from my breast and prefers the bottle. He’s 4 months old and it’s been three weeks since I resumed work

Yes, babies are naturally lazy so they find the bottle easier. Try and keep breastfeeding at night and when baby is drowsy. Furthermore avoid using a different perfume than what you were using before as  it will cause you to smell different.

Finally, while at work, try and eat the same foods like you were doing in the first months so that your milk’s flavor remains the same.

My 2.3 years son wakes up every morning sneezing with mucus while sneezing. He has no flu or fever and plays very well. I  have started him on cod liver oil.

Sounds more like allergies that he will outgrow with time. Keep him warm. Besides, cod liver is quite useful  in solving these allergies.

My 1.5 year old has refused to potty train. How can I teach her? She refuses to sit on it.

She may not be ready, you may need to giver her more time. When she is ready, she will show interest and want to sit on it.  When she does, offer a lot of claps to motivate her.

My baby hates bottle feeding and prefers breast feeding. This is impossible at times because I have insufficient milk. What do I do?

You can try using a cup and spoon instead to feed the baby. Keep trying on the bottle though, your baby may eventually agree.

My baby is having trouble latching and on top of that he gets constipated a lot. I’m also having trouble expressing. Please help.

You may need to see a lactation specialist to help with the latch. You mix the formula according to the instructions written on the bottle. Please mix a directed there. For expressing, hand expression tends to be more effective in removing milk initially but also try to relax as you express to allow the milk to flow.

Every time I breastfeed, I experience pain on one nipple. What could be the problem?

If the baby is latching properly, then you could be having a fungal infection or thrush in that nipple.  Please see your doctor to determine this.

For a mum who has insufficient milk; what’s the safest food to wean a 4 month old baby?

You can give modified animal milk as a supplement. As a result, it enables the baby to grow more.

Weaning

Weaning and breastfeeding go hand in hand. In this effect, here are the weaning concerns mums in the village raised during the pregnancy and baby chat and Esther’s answers to them;

Which spices can I use for a 10 months old baby?

Natural spices like onions, garlic, capsicum, dhania,  and ginger.

Which food helps the baby in adding weight?

Babies need a high calorie diet. Give them more starchy food like Ugali, rice and potatoes. Carbohydrates should form  20% of what your baby eats daily.  Furthermore, ensure that you cook baby’s food with oil as well.

I started weaning my son at 5 months 2 weeks. He loves porridge but hates squashed potatoes, butternut or steamed apples. What do I do?

Yes.Your baby may not be ready to eat lumps. You can give baby more time and then start off by  mashing with a fork to make the lumps really small.

I’m really struggling with with weaning the baby off the boob to the bottle. Kindly advise on what to do,  currently, I use Avent and momeasy.

You  can try different teats. Ensure it’s someone else feeding the baby and not you. In addition, try feeding the baby when they are not too hungry as when they are too  impatient, they will not want to try.

Do I need to give my baby Multivitamins and Scotts Emulsion or Just Scotts Emulsion?

Just Scots emulsion is efficient. Give your baby a wide variety of foods from all food groups; starch, proteins (animal and plants), oils, fruits, and vegetables. Finally, continue to breastfeed and your baby will get all the micro nutrients they require.

Is Scots Emulsion good for a 5 months old Baby?

Scots emulsion is usually recommended for after 6 months.

My baby will be 6 months this February. How do I wean him and what do I start with?

You can start off with porridge from maize or rice flour with some added oil (Olive oil or butter) for around 1 week and then move on to cooked foods  from there.

Is it advisable to start weaning after 24 weeks? What foods do we start with?

You can start off with porridge from maize or rice flour fortified with some added oils or butter for about 1 week and then move on to cooked foods.

My 8 month old doesn’t  have teeth yet. When is the latest age to start having teeth?

For teeth, it’s a genetic factor so teeth may come as late as 12-15 months.

When should the baby start brushing teeth and is there any recommended toothbrush?

You start brushing from the first tooth with a soft brush.

My 8 months baby refuses to eat and closes the mouth. What do I do?

It’s normal for babies to refuse to eat sometimes. Just  take the food away and try to feed a bit later.

I plan to introduce proteins to my baby at 8 months.How do we prepare proteins to avoid gas? Moreover, what’s the best way to prepare beef/chicken/liver? Do we blend or mince it?

For proteins, you can soak the beans before hand and then rinse them with warm water before frying them for the baby. In addition, chicken liver is easy to cook without without mincing it but  you can mince beef liver.You can fry it with other ingredients like rice and vegetables.

Please advise on the variety of foods to give to an 8  month old baby to avoid getting bored of pumpkins,, potatoes, baby rice, and bananas.

Ideally, your baby should eat all the family foods; ugali, rice,matoke  etc. Just modify your family foods for the baby.

I give my baby bananas and avocado each day. Is it healthy for a 3 month old?

Unfortunately early introduction of solids have been linked to issues later in life.I would recommend that you give your baby only milk feeds; either breastfeeding, formula or modified animal milk until at least when the baby turns 24 weeks or nearer that time.

What amount of porridge should I feed my baby when I start weaning?

2 to 3 tablespoons.

How can I control vomiting even after the  baby burps?
Sometimes the baby may be having food intolerances from your own diet passed on through breast milk. Keep a food diary to see if this is so. Common foods that may lead to reflux are wheat, dairy and some legumes.

Which fruits are good for babies?

There is actually no fast rule about this. The only exception about this is if your baby has eczema.When this is the case, you should delay citric fruits.

Pregnancy and Family Planning

Lastly, we have pregnancy and family planning and these are the questions raised during the pregnancy and baby chat;

What causes Fistula?

Fistula is usually a small hole that forms especially after a  long obstructed labour that makes a woman leak urine or poop. Usually, if  mom pushes for long and for a reason the baby is not able to come out then the pressure caused may lead to fistula. This can be prevented by getting prompt medical care and delivering with trained medical personnel. Treatment is usually a surgery to seal the hole.

It has been one year and 5 months since I gave birth. My periods are not yet back . I am still breastfeeding and I use no family planning. I am also not pregnant. What could be the problem?
Sometimes it can take a while for your fertility to return but if by 18 months you have still not seen your period, see your doctor especially if you’re thinking of trying again.

I am 30 Weeks Pregnant but Every Time I sit, stand or stretch I feel so much pain on my pelvic bone. What can I do?

Sometimes you may feel this till you deliver due to how the baby is lying. Pregnancy stretches and exercise may help shift the baby’s position. If you go on line, look for a site known as spinning babies. They have excellent exercises there that may help you get more comfortable safely.

What does it mean when a 7-8 months pregnant mum sleeps, but when waking up she can’t walk properly and experiences leg ache?

Most likely as you sleep, you may be having circulation problems. Try incorporate some exercise into your routine. Additionally, you can use pillows between your legs to ease pressure from your baby.

Is it normal to have stomach ache during pregnancy?

It would be great to see your doctor to rule out any infection. However, heart burn and gas are common.

I’m pregnant with my second born. My blood type is rhesus negative. In my first pregnancy I got 2 Anti-D injections. The doctor then told me that those are to assist in the second pregnancy. Does that mean  I won’t get an Anti-D during this pregnancy?

You will still get an Anti-D injection in case the current baby you are carrying is a different blood group from you. In case a baby carries a different blood group their antibodies circulate in your system so in case you get pregnant again it may cause you to suffer a miscarriage. In this case, the injection prevents you from miscarrying.

I’m 6 months pregnant. I have been experiencing  chest blockage with breathing difficulties. I use prednisone but I guess I need something stronger to finish the chest problem. Please help.

Please see your doctor for further intervention. Once they determine why you are feeling this they will prescribe something stronger that is safe for the baby.

I use public transport and I am afraid that the rough matatu rides can harm my baby. What do I do?

Your baby is well protected by the amniotic fluid and it would actually take some impact for the baby to be affected. Furthermore, avoid sitting at the back  while in a matatu or under the wheel just to be more comfortable.

Do plastic teeth thwart a baby’s growth?

That is actually just a myth. There is no proven relation to weight of the baby. Your baby should double their birth weight by 6 months and triple it by one year. If your baby is growing at this rate then your baby is fine.

How does weight addition work? My clothes have become loose but  every time I go for prenatal clinics, it shows that I have added weight.

As long as the scale is showing that you are adding weight then you should be fine. How the clothes fit depend on where your extra weight is being stored.

I have lost so much weight with this 3 years implant till I had to remove it. I don’t know what to use now.

Have a discussion with your doctor. You can discuss on different options that will work for you. Nonetheless, you can have the implant removed if you are not comfortable with it.

Any Tips on Family Planning?
Family planning is different with every person. Usually the best way is to have a discussion with your doctor to get the perfect fit for you.

What’s the best soap to use while washing the baby’s bottles?

Use liquid soap and warm water and then Milton (pride or safisha brands) solution to sterilize them.

I notice that one boob is larger than the other and often produces more milk? Is it normal  and how can I balance this?

Yes. It is actually normal. One breast tend to be a bit bigger and usually there is one breast that tends to produce more milk. To help the balance, try feed your baby  on the smaller breast to stimulate more production.

Recommended age for a baby to start taking oats for breakfast.

From 6 months,you can use a blender to make it into powder. Just put the uncooked oats in the blender and once it becomes powder, cook it as usual. You can add a banana to sweeten it for the baby.

Is it okay to give a baby fruits before 8 months?
Usually fruits can be offered before 7 months once the baby is used to other bland foods. I’d advice that you avoid giving fruits as a first food as it can make the baby reject less sweet foods.

My baby has not pooped for 7 days. She is still eating and drinking a lot of water.What could be the problem?

If you have started weaning, your baby may not be digesting the food properly. Try and avoid wimbi and carrots for now. A good remedy is to get dry prunes, soak them and boil after.  Once you’re done, blend them into a paste and add this to the baby’s food. It should help. If the baby has a lot of discomfort you may ask your doctor to give you a suppository to help pass the poop. MYDAWA  must have these so you can get them from there once you get the prescription.

My teeth feel a bit weak in the morning. I’m doing EBF with 6 weeks baby. What calcium supplements do you recommend?

You  may need some calcium supplements. Calcimax tablets would be great.

Swollen hands and Painful wrists, any remedies?

If it happens during pregnancy, it is known as carpal tunnel syndrome. Calcium supplements and some physiotherapy may help but usually it resolves once the baby is born.  You can also apply some pressure by getting some wrist bands or bandage, it does bring some relief. Bone soup is not sufficient to help with calcium.

What will I do to make my 4 months baby add weight?
Feed your baby more often. Some babies may need encouragement to feed.

Why is it that pregnancy causes gas and digestive issues?

Due to the hormonal changes that slow down digestion in maximizing nutrient absorption and also growing the baby. Take small meals often, avoid heavily spiced foods and taking  meals close to bedtime will help counter this.

Can one continue taking pregnacare supplements after birth?

Yes you can or you can also get the postnatal supplements that are meant for breastfeeding mums.

What if one feels hungry at night, yet meal times should end hours before bedtime?

Try and sit up at least for 30 minutes after eating.More over, taking a protein meal during dinner might help you to not feel hungry at night. Also,  ensure you hydrate well during the day. Sometimes  it’s thirst that wakes you up but your brain sends hunger signals.

What causes Gartner’s cyst after having a Caesarean section?
They are mainly caused by injury during  childbirth and or fluid build up in your glands so it’s not common.

What is the best time to start working out after Caesarean?

From around 3 months is okay. Start off with mild exercise and build up from around 6 months.

 

These pregnancy and baby chats have proved very insightful in answering all the concerns mums in the village have. In addition they help mothers to learn from each others experiences. Consequently we as MumsVillage get a lot of information and feedback on how to better help our Villagers. For this, we thank MYDAWA for equipping us to bring in an expert.

You may also like: Esther Kimani: Pregnancy and Baby WhatsApp Chat

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